Straight teeth offer more than just a perfect smile. They’re also healthy because crooked teeth have a harder time biting and chewing and they can slowly end up pushing together. This causes the enamel to wear down as the teeth grind together, causing some consistent pain and eventually leading to cavities and infection. Aside from that, misaligned teeth can also miss each other completely and cause you to bite your gums every time you clench your teeth. Over time, that can cause some serious gum damage.
Because crooked teeth are a health risk along with everything else, it’s a good idea to at least visit an orthodontist once for an inspection and a diagnosis. Most orthodontics offices offer that initial consultation for free, so there’s no risk or expense to letting them take a look.
As for when to have this inspection, the answer is “as soon as possible.” The usual recommended age is seven since by that age the first few adult teeth have started to erupt and replace the baby teeth but the jaw is still growing. Thanks to that, it’s much easier and less expensive to change the shape of the mouth, and all the changes are more likely to be permanent.
While you might think that every orthodontic treatment is going to be expensive without exception, it’s hard to say exactly since every mouth is different. A few people have no trouble at all when it comes to their teeth, and others only need to stop by the office a few times for a few years just to make sure everything goes smoothly. Other patients need a lot more time, money, and effort to make their teeth straight, but if that’s the case it’s that much more important to go through with the treatments since ignoring the problem will let it become that much worse in adulthood.
But ultimately it’s impossible to say how much or how little it’ll cost for your child to have straight teeth until you go to an orthodontist for an initial look. And since doing that much is usually free, you should at least bring your child to the orthodontist once and find out whether there’s a problem and how much it might cost.